The legendary Mr B is back with a new album of his trademark Chap-Hop. If this is your first dip into Mr B’s roll top bathtub of delight expect banter, banjolele, catchy loops, a three piece suit and sneakers. Most of all expect to love it!
The first thing that struck me on listening to Dandinista is the imagination that led to some of the samples and musical nods. On the first listen alone I picked out a cleverly looped sample of “Cops” from Laurel & Hardy’s “Night Owls” and a little Ade Edmonson in his guise as a Dreamy Time Escort from “Mr Jolly Lives Next Door“. I feel this latter love of Barmy Fluid ages Mr B perfectly if one felt the need to do such a thing 😉 Along with references to Ice Cube, Sid James, Steptoe & Son, Beastie Boys & The Sultans of Ping FC the album is full of comedic and Hip-Hop Easter eggs.
The songs themselves are terribly catchy, none more so that I Can’t Be Arsed, the opening track that has a chorus you’ll be singing for weeks, a lyrical sentiment we can all relate to and a rather natty animated video. On a ukulele fan level too (less we forget why we’re here), there’s a little gentle riff that is very sweet, a cleverly placed bridge between the beats. Waiting Room Etiquette brings in that snippet of Laurel & Hardy capably melded to the drum loop, the harmonised chorus lyric revealing just which queue Mr B is referring to. You have been warned!
The next track keeps a similar trouser related theme albeit in a lament to the demise of the slower Internet we used to know and love and the spam emails it used to deliver. To be honest I could go on and describe each track here as they are all winners and there’s diversity throughout as Mr B has pushed his musical boundaries within the Hip-Hop genre. Crumpet and its “buttery musk” has a positively anthemic big band chorus while Three Piece Suit and Sneakers is a true old school Hip-Hop track that exhibits just how good a rapper Mr B really is. His pre-Chap-Hop background stands proud here and if there’s any track that wills you to bust out a large piece of cardboard and get spinning it’s this one.
What always strikes me about Mr B is how effortless he combines his sense of humour with genuine rap talent and genre knowledge. His dry wit is at the forefront of course but the beats feel a little more sophisticated this time around and his vocal nimbleness really is first class, perhaps somewhat ironically bolstered by his gentleman’s accent. Who knew the clarity and dexterity of the English upper class was the perfect Hip-Hop voice? In short this cherished creative coxcomb has produced a rather fabulous record and it goes perfectly with crumpets too. Carshalton, put the toaster on!